Kenyan Mark Korir and Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia claimed convincing victories at the 35th Mainova Frankfurt Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on Sunday (30).
In the men's race, Korir won a three-way battle in 2:06:48, more than 30 seconds clear of compatriots Martin Kosgei and Cybrian Kotut. In the women's contest, Daska collected her second Frankfurt victory in 2:25:27, dramtically fending off a late-race challenge by Germany's Fate Tola.
A lead group of eight was guided by three pacemakers through the first half in 1:02:58, according to the pre-race plan. In the 27th kilometre, Ethiopia’s Tadesse Tola, the fastest in field with a PB of 2:04:49, was the first to drift back, leaving Korir, Kotut, Kosgei, Birhanu Achamie of Ethiopia and pacemaker Vincent Rono at the front at 30 kilometres, reached in 1:30:09. Korir upped the tempo, dropping Achamie and the pacesetter.
Korir, the 2015 Paris Marathon winner, began his decisive attack with five kilometres remaining, and was never significantly threatened en route to the race's dazzling indoor finish area in Frankfurt's Festhalle.
In the women's race, as expected the Ethiopian pair of Mamitu Daska and Sutume Asefa Kebede established an early lead. Their early tempo suggested a possible attack on the course record of 2:21:01, set in 2012 by fellow-Ethiopian Meselech Melkamu.
Daska was clearly struggling from the 35th kilometre, where she had an advantage of 2:40. "It was my aim to win the race, but it was getting really tough because of the problems," she'd later say.
Slowing dramatically, her lead was cut to 1:24 five kilometres later. Continuing to fade even as Tola pressed on, Daska still held on for the win, holding off the challenger by 15 seconds. Had the race been some 300 metres longer, the finishing order would have been reversed.
"I could have run 15 seconds faster, but I did not see Mamitu Daska early enough," said Tola, who clocked 2:25:42. Nonetheless, she wasn't disappointed. "It was a great race for me, I am really happy.“